Wednesday, May 19, 2010


New from The Permanent Press: Elysiana by Chris Knopf.

About the book, from the publisher's website:

"Elysiana is a departure for Knopf, whose Sam Acquillo mysteries have won reviewers’ raves, but he nails it. The seemingly shambling plot proves ultimately to be sly, and Knopf’s sweet-spirited style recalls memories spurred by faded home movies of long-ago vacations. His bio says that he was a New Jersey lifeguard back in the day, and he captures the zeitgeist of the Shore perfectly. Every “shoobie” on the beach who eschews MTV’s odious Jersey Shore should be reading Elysiana this season."

"Smart dialogue and sharp social observations distinguish this stand-alone thriller from Knopf (Short Squeeze and four other Hamptons mysteries). In the summer of 1969, life on the sunny New Jersey resort island of Elysiana simmers as town cops feud with the beach patrol, fed-up wives elude their slimy husbands, local politicians double-cross each other, lots of dope flows everywhere, and various needy, wounded people—such as a brain-damaged lifeguard, a young woman from Chicago who fled her lecherous dad, and a smalltime criminal who's also a maniac surfer—look for reasons to go on. Knopf sets up a lot of competing characters capable of semi-clever scheming to get what they want, then shows a massive hurricane ripping their plans and their island apart. Like John D. Macdonald or Charles Willeford in a lighter mood, he's unsentimentally fond of his characters and tentatively hopeful about their ability to salvage something from the wreckage around them."
Publishers Weekly

"It’s not every blood-and-guts action romp filled with hippie dropouts and degenerate misfits, many of them high on hallucinogens and low in heeding the law, that can reference The Bernouilli effect, Jean Paul Sartre and Anais Nin. But Chris Knopf delivers, with ease, wit and humor, never letting arcana interfere with suspense. The result is Elysiana, named for a fictional South Jersey barrier island. It’s Knopf’s sixth novel and a breakaway from his award-winning Sam Acquillo murder mysteries, featuring the hard-headed, tough-talking, soft-hearted Southampton-based protagonist, though traces of Sam’s character can be detected in one or two of the odd balls who make their home on this stretch of land, at once savagely beautiful off shore and often savage inland."
—Joan Baum for NPR and The Independent
Visit Chris Knopf's website.

Coffee with a canine: Chris Knopf & Sam.

My Book, The Movie: Two Time.

The Page 99 Test: Hard Stop.

Writers Read: Chris Knopf.

My Book, The Movie: Short Squeeze.